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I was following this really cool recipe to make a kind of snack made mostly of granola, coconut flour and freeze dried strawberries. When done right, it seems to be really photogenic, here is a picture from the blogger:

enter image description here

However, when I got to the part where I'm told to:

Blend your strawberries until fine. Keep extra for rolling bites in batter.

I couldn't get my blender to break up the freeze dried strawberries at all. They just flopped around inside making a ruckus. I checked the blade, and it was in fact sharp. I had to resort to slicing and dicing as finely as I could with a knife to create an effect similar to the freeze dried straw berries in the picture. The result was rather unsightly, probably due to the fact I had more like freeze dried strawberries that were the size of small raisins. In fact, the texture/suppleness of the freeze dried strawberries seemed exactly like that of a raisin too.

Question

How can I achieve a "fine" freeze dried strawberry-flaky result? As I have never worked with freeze-dried strawberries before nor made a similar snack, I'm not sure how to troubleshoot at this juncture. I do have two hunches though:

  • while marketed as 'freeze-dried', my strawberries are perhaps not the right kind?
  • I have the wrong tool for the job, my blender is a simple one with a spinning two blade apparatus (think cheap Chinese blender). I will say though, it has never let me down in the past.
  • Do you have access to dry ice or liquid nitrogen? – Tim Post Mar 5 at 16:59
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    I was thinking maybe just dehydrate the strawberries and crush them into a flakey powder. Using the same kind of dehydrator they use for jerky, then a pestle + mortar. Is freeze-dried a requirement? – Jorgomli Mar 5 at 17:01
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    @Jorgomli That's the direction I was thinking. If you can get most of the water out of them, then freeze them quickly, you should be able to preserve the color and make them blend into the desired particulates. He needs something similar to astronaut ice cream to get the desired effect, and it sounds like all he's able to find are the conventional frozen variety. – Tim Post Mar 5 at 17:26
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    Some online stores will sell the powder itself. Sometimes it is stretched with maltodextrin, which also might be interesting for you - it has the color and aroma, but is cheaper. – rumtscho Mar 5 at 19:09
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First off, if they're the texture of raisins, they aren't the sort of freeze-dried strawberries the recipe wants - what it wants is something totally dry, almost the texture of styrofoam. They should crunch if you bite into them, and slowly rehydrate in your mouth if you eat one without crunching. They'll look like full-sized slices of strawberry, only dry. Like this:

enter image description here

The right tool for pulverizing something like this without liquid is a spice grinder or small food processor. If you don't have one of those, put the berries in a plastic bag and crush them with a mallet or a rolling pin.

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You are using the wrong tool for the job, what you need is a food processor, not a blender. A blender is designed for liquids, not solids, and the blade doesn't reach the edge. The blogger may have just used the wrong word, or maybe has a blender with a separate chopper attachment.

You don't need to spend a bomb, I used a stick blender with a food processor attachment for many years that I picked up at a garage sale.

Alternatively a coffee grinder may work for you if you have one around, just make sure to pulse it and check the results, otherwise you will turn them to powder. Also, clean it very thoroughly before or your strawberries will taste of coffee!

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    I spent years failing to recognise that distinction. I now have a spice grinder & [tiny] food processor for this kind of task. Both cheap & cheerful, but they do the job. – Tetsujin Mar 5 at 18:16

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